Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We’ve Got to Do Our Part – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

Yet another worrying article in the newspapers, this time, it’s on  solid waste

According to the government, Malaysians are already throwing nearly 27,000 tonnes of rubbish every day.  And it is expected that we will reach 30,000 tonnes per day well before 2020!  Nearly all of this waste is going to landfills.  But out of the 166 landfills in the country, only EIGHT are sanitary landfills!

No one wants to live near a landfill.  So of course the government must look for sites that are away from residential areas…and that can mean the forest and other natural areas.

The quality of our lives depends on our natural resources, and in Selangor, particularly those found in Taman Negeri Selangor.  Our consumption of goods and our lifestyle overall have an impact on the Park and forests in general.

Taman Negeri Selangor is located immediately eastward from the country’s largest urban complex.  The Forestry Department cannot manage the Park sustainably without the cooperation of the residents of Selangor and beyond.

It is we, the people, who will ultimately influence the Park’s proper management and conservation.  To play our part in conserving the Park and protecting the environment overall, we should remember these simple steps and apply to our daily habits:

1. Rethink how we live and how it affects the environment:
  • When we buy an item, think about where it comes from and where it will go to once we finish with it.
  • Think about the company that makes the item and ask if they have a good environmental track record

2.  Reduce our consumption of resources:
  • By conserving water and energy, we reduce the need to build more dams, which flood our forests and destroy habitats and communities.
  •  By reducing what we throw away, we use fewer materials and save land from becoming landfills.
  •  By trying to reduce our dependency on cars, we reduce the need to construct more and more highways, which often cut through the forest and disrupt communities.

3.  Re-use and recycle as much as possible
  • Re-using and recycling materials such as plastic bottles and paper reduces the need for raw materials, which come from natural resources such as trees.

There are lots of places to get more info.  To get started, you can visit the  TrEES website  for a list of recycling centres in the Klang Valley.  To learn more about how to compost at home, and to learn about home cleaning alternatives, click here .  

Let's all do our part!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

KLORR - Financial Close Means that Work Could Commence Soon

Based on an article that appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on 11 August 2011, the Terengganu-based construction outfit Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd (AZRB) has reached financial close with Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd for the RM1.5 billion KL Outer Ring Road (KLORR) project. Financial close is the last hurdle before funds can be drawn down to commence work on a project.  

This could indicate that AZRB is finalising details of the concession agreement with the government and that work on the project could commence soon

According to the article, AZRB was given the letter of intent to undertake the project back in 2008, building the 40km stretch from Sungai Long to University Islam Antarabangsa in Gombak, linking up with the South Klang Valley Expressway and Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Expressway, among others.  

The article further stated that the KLORR job could be a boost for AZRB. As at end-March this year, AZRB had an order book of RM1.06 billion. Some of the more prominent jobs were the design and building of Complex Kerja Raya 2 in Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, Kuala Lumpur, for RM266 million, packages 2, 6, 5A and 9C of the East Coast Highway amounting to some RM207 million and Universiti Darul Imam package 3 building works valued at RM192 million.

As per the article, AZRB is 59.24% controlled by Zaki Holdings (M) Sdn Bhd. Zaki Holdings is the vehicle of Datuk Seri Wan Zaki Wan Muda, the executive vice-chairman of AZRB, managing director Datuk Wan Zakariah Wan Muda and executive director Datuk Wan Zulkifli Wan Muda.

To date, the public has no clear picture of where the exactly KLORR highway will be built, aside from the simple line drawn on the map of the Draft Local Plan Ampang Jaya 2020.  Based on articles that have appeared in the newspapers since the Draft Plans were released, this alignment may be changed, but no information on other proposed alignments have been offered to the public. 

Over 1,000 residents sent in their written objections to the alignment of the KLORR back in 2009, through the public feedback sought under the Draft Local Plan Ampang Jaya 2020.   Communities are very concerned about the impacts the KLORR highway will have on the forests of Taman Negeri Selangor,  the water supply to Selangor and KL, and the neighborhoods that will be affected. 

Looking at other highways, the KLORR will most likely require a wide swath of forest to be cleared for its construction.

Kajang to Seremban Highway:

Karak Highway:

Retaining walls:

There has to be a better solution to the traffic problem, than putting a highway through critical water catchment areas!